"Hey, what are you doing on Saturday?"
It was a text from Andrew, my partner-in-crime on the wedding photography scene. We just shot Jeffrey & Brian's wedding not even two weeks ago, and I was still fried from all the weddings I had shot and was planning to shoot. He said that a friend of a friend is getting married that day and their photographer - a photography student at a nearby college - had bailed on them not even a week before their wedding day. I was supposed to go on a photo walk with a few friends that evening, but the entrepreneur in me (and the bills piling up) were telling me that this was a much better route to go. I asked for the details and figured we could swing it, no problem. It was exactly one week before I was going to shoot my friend's wedding in Massachusetts, and while I was confident I'd rock that shoot, a little practice run wouldn't hurt. Hey, any chance to capture someone's special day is always a good thing, right?
We arrived on the scene in Herndon and Amber and Anthony were just about finished getting ready. It's tricky when the two wedding photographers are men, since it doesn't give us too much access to the bride getting ready and such. However, we were able to catch the moments before the ceremony, and Amber looked beautiful while Anthony looked dapper. One of their aunts was grilling, and being addicted to food and food photography, I tried my best to stay away, but couldn't help hoovering around her as she grilled chicken kebabs with peanut sauce. There was a certain instant where the family insisted Andrew and I eat something, and I was beyond thrilled when I got to try one (and I want the recipe to that sauce!).
The week leading up to the wedding was moderately gorgeous weather, so I had high hopes for Saturday. My hopes were crushed when the temperature was a blazing mid-90's! What happened to fall?! Fortunately for Andrew and I, we had access to some amazing homemade lemonade and sweet tea, which was a huge help! The sun remained pretty perfect during the ceremony, which flew by in a blur. By the time the couple returned, however, we had a very harsh sunlight that didn't want to dip below the horizon. We made the most of it, and as the couple shared their first dance on the deck, I stayed up one more level on the deck and played with some back-lighting, which seemed to do the trick. Plus, watching Anthony serenading Amber the entire dance was quite entertaining (and got a lot of natural smiles out of her - a photographer's dream).
I wanted to get a little experimental with the couple portraits, but my plans were ruined when a wind decided to pick up and blow the balloons all over the place! No matter - I think Andrew and I got even better portraits from our Plan B. We had to be careful, though, since the bench was on it's last leg (no pun intended) and felt like it was going to break at any second! The photos still came out great, and Anthony & Amber did a wonderful job keeping their cool as the bench started to give way! I love it when the first plan doesn't work and the "back-up" turned out better than what we originally mapped out!
We had a great time at the wedding, meeting the family, and celebrating their special day! It's crazy to believe that was my fourth wedding I've shot in my first year, and when I first started out in photography, I never dreamed I'd even do one! It helped further that the couple were truly awesome and easy going, which made the whole occasion so fun!
Until next time,